六月 2007


這幾天在上海天天往外跑,四處遊蕩。先是把地理位置先搞清楚,之後還去買上海交通卡以方便搭乘地鐵公車跟計程車。家裡網路因為不穩定,還要一直打電話聯絡人來修理…加上地鐵11點就關門,每天晚上卻又很晚才回到家,每天都在走超遠的路…腳簡直就是快斷了!

公司在浦東,簡直就是一個全新的地區。浦東公司的位置3年前還是農田,現在全部蓋全新的公司辦公大樓,所以很多大樓不僅是空的,還有很多正在裝修。加上周圍都是在蓋住宅區,晚上一到簡直就是Ghost Town的感覺,太恐怖了。浦東新區讓我想起了美國的感覺,超級寬大的馬路直直的通往浦西,周圍甚麼都沒有。看到的建築物多為住宅區,也沒看到幾家店。店都分散得很遠,沒有汽車或是腳踏車都很不方便。這…真的是上海嗎?!

浦東越接近浦西,就越繁榮,但是從公司到浦西也差不多要一個小時,簡直就是台北到桃園的距離嘛!這樣的範圍都屬於上海,真的是令人不可思議。而且浦東新區還沒有延伸到浦東機場,以後要是浦東這個區域也發展成浦西的模樣,那我想世界上沒有任何一個城市能夠跟上海相比了。到了浦東讓我不禁驚嘆上海的發展潛力。這麼多空地,上海以後還能隨著需求輕易的繼續擴張,真的是太誇張了。

上海公司的環境….太新,感覺甚麼都很假而且很人工的感覺。說真的我不大喜歡。公司的樓層又矮,只有3層樓。但是今天去了公司,見到了員工,還一起吃了中飯,感覺上真的是很親切。比我一開始在美國的總部的感覺好的多。在公司參觀的時候還碰到了好幾位那時候在德州有碰到的員工,談一談忽然就覺得世界真是小,在美國碰面後6個月又在上海見到面,有時候想一想還真是蠻奇妙的~

上海的地鐵在尖峰時間簡直就是塞爆,我從來沒有看過這麼多人!上地鐵都是用擠上去的,真的是讓我有點驚嚇。不過這兩天常常坐地鐵,好像也慢慢習慣了。上海人素質起伏落差很大。最看不慣的就是不讓位給老弱婦孺。明明老太太體態龍鍾的走進來,竟然沒有任何一個人會想到要起來讓坐。有個孕婦走進來,我雖然沒有坐下來,但是有扶著杆子。我跟他說讓他扶杆子,我讓開,那孕婦竟然婉拒我?!就那樣站在中間,甚麼也不扶,看的我覺得好危險!唉~真是不習慣。

但是上海好玩的就是當你覺得上海人簡直就是無禮到家的時候,又有人讓你覺得看見一線希望。在從公司回到地鐵站的時候,我叫了一部計程車。計程車司機(大陸要改叫師傅)很大方很豪爽。問我說我想怎麼走,我根本不認識路,我就想說怎麼進來就怎麼出去。他就說,那樣繞路阿!應該走左邊比較快。我半信半疑,想說常常聽說大陸斯機會繞遠路。但是我也不識路,只好說好,隨便你。結果他左轉直走後,一右轉就真的走到公司外面的大路,我往右一看,果然走我原來要走的路是真的繞了一大圈。想說,這個司機還不錯嘛!我就跟他開始聊聊天。

聊一聊,他就問我那裡來得,我說台北。他就說,哦~我台灣很熟,你們台北高雄發展的不錯,台中就還好,台北還有甚麼路甚麼路的。我問,你去過台灣嗎?他說,沒有!但是我常常接待台灣客人,覺得很有趣,我喜歡跟他們聊天交流。隨後這位司機老兄竟然就開始跟我聊歷史!「老蔣那個王八蛋當初要是把共產黨那些混蛋在剿共的時候把他們徹底消滅,今天中國也不會這樣」,「蔣介石跟毛澤東這兩個他媽的都該死,但是之後的鄧小平跟蔣經國就很值得紀念了」。「美國人使出各種手段來搞我們,但是美國人不是反對中國,他們是反對共產主義」。「國民黨那時候他媽的拿美國的錢,拿美國的武器,竟然連幾個農夫都打不過,真是太丟人了。但是蔣介石他們錯就錯在貪污,不得民心。今天胡錦濤厲害就厲害在懂得把人民弄的扶服貼貼的,懂得給他們一點好處,這樣人民就聽話了」。「但是他們也只是給人民紅蕃薯,甚麼後面的糖漿跟額外的東西就還沒有給了,但是需要時間啦!慢慢一步一步來。美國總是說要自由自由,很好是沒錯,可是拿來中國,一下子太自由,那些他媽的沒文化的人那裡懂得甚麼屁自由?拿了自由就去殺人放火了,現在那能給他們這麼多自由?!」聽得我一直狂笑,但是也佩服這位司機,我非常喜歡他!我就跟他真心的聊說沒錯阿!當初要是這樣那樣,那該多好。這個司機雖然只是開車,但是對於現代時事也有這樣的見解,真的上讓我很吃驚。他的見解跟我很多想法都符合,真的是太棒了。我真的好喜歡他,上海需要更多他這種司機。

另外一個讓我感到上海人的溫暖是在地鐵我買地圖的時候。那時候我在地鐵有聽過人家叫價三元。但是我在地鐵上買地圖的時候,那人要價五元。那人一說五元,坐我旁邊阿伯立刻罵人,說甚麼五元,想騙錢!我跟他殺價,我說,三元。他說,那四元。我說,不要,我要三元。賣的人就講了一大堆有的沒的,說四元很值得甚麼鬼的。我心裡想說多一元,就算了,就給他四元。旁邊的阿伯超級不以為然,跟我說你不應該跟他買的,太貴了!他太太也跟我說,你下次就跟他說沒有三元就不買!這樣他馬上就賣你三元了。雖然我是不在乎那多出來的一元,但是聽到他們這樣跟我講,我仍然是很感動。上海還是有素質有文化心腸好的人嘛~!

明天就是週末囉…家人開始陸續抵達上海準備過我爺爺的80歲生日。禮拜一也要正式開始上班。上海的生活就這樣開始囉!目前…還蠻不賴的!

廣告

It’s getting hard to make a title nowadays….What I write often has no unifying theme anymore.

Spent an afternoon walking on the streets of Taipei. Nothing interests me anymore. Is it because of jet lag? The lack of companionship? Or the fact I just saw the same stuff merely 6 months ago? On the same subway, looking at the same buildings. Gone is the sense of detachment from the people around me. Perhaps I haven’t changed that much after all.

Yet, hidden from all this is a feeling of separation. The end of this summer will mark the 9th year I am away from this adorable place. I have seen and experienced things that, although individually seems minute, aggregated together has transformed me. I look at the young men in Taiwan and cannot help but feel foreign. Their hairstyle, sense of fashion, and general personality. So different! Trying to imagine myself being fit into their frame, what I would look like if I stayed here and adopted their style, and I find myself in a comedic mood.

I talk to my grandmother after lunch, like two old people reminiscing the past (yes I know, I’m an old man). I sit there and listen to her talk about her grandchildren, my cousins. Those little stories that I have heard a million times about her time in Shanghai. The house she lived in, the life she had. I cannot help but feel a sense of sadness and longing from her. Has the brightest time begun to fade for my dearest grandmother?

She talks about my cousin, her favorite one. The college girl who took her to some Thai buffet a couple days ago. I’d like to think that I’m my grandma’s favorite grandchild, but I smile as I see her eyes light up when she describes that afternoon. I guess being the second favored grandchild is something I can live with ;).

Then our subject turns to my cousin’s brother, that troubled teenager who is on the wrong path. The tensions he has in his family, with his father, my uncle. Grandma talks with surprising peacefulness, yet sadness. Like an overworked worker who comes home at night and has no energy left to deal with the unsatisfactory aspects of life, grandma talks with certain emptiness in her eyes. What can you do?

She continues her peaceful conversation, talking about my 3 cousins and their childhood stories. How my aunt would drive her car and take all 3 children to school. How my grandpa would take one of them to school in the morning, and go pick her up in the afternoon. Suddenly I feel a sense of detachment even from my family. I am that child who grew up in a foreign country, a grandchild that was “the kid from America". I don’t have much memory of my grandpa, mostly because he never talked to me.

In my memory, he was always that quiet old man who sat in a chair and just looked at you. All the things my grandma talked about him was like describing a distant man who existed in the past. The stories she talked about him, about his interactions with my cousins, all seem so…oh I don’t know how to say it…Distant and unfamiliar.

I look at her, listens to her complain that she is but a person waiting for death. The cooking, daily routines, her sore shoulders and declining stamina. She cannot go travel because she gets tired easily. Lord knows she loves to travel, that 22 year old Shanghai rich girl that never grew up after 60 years. She hates living here doing the same thing day after day. It sucks her of vitality, depletes her energy.

I tell her mama says the same exact thing in my attempt to cheer her up. She smiles and shakes her head. Your mom is young, I am 85 years old! What is left of me? I can only smile and assure her there is plenty left in life for her to explore. Yet it anguishes me to know she feels this way. This is certainly not the way I want my grandma to live her time after so much suffering and hardship.

I think about her life, her family caught in Taiwan’s modern problems. One cousin married late, doesn’t yet have a single child after 5 years. One cousin doesn’t want to marry (rather, his girlfriend refuses to get married.  I thought getting married was every girl’s fantasy dream?!). One cousin married an American, such a foreign concept for even my open minded grandma. One cousin has a boyfriend, yet she is approaching 30, and does not seem to have any wedding plans soon. That troubled teenager cousin who is in the army now. God knows what he will make of himself when he has finished serving the army. What does she have? A childless third generation family that seems neither in a hurry to marry nor a hurry to have children. For someone from my grandmother’s generation, there is indeed not much left for her to be happy about.

She continues on to tell me this year’s 端午節 will be her last. 封刀了!以後不煮了! I am happy that she will cook her very last 端午 lunch for me, but at the same time I feel unfortunate. I have rarely experienced those lunch and dinners, as I’ve been away for so long. All those memories from my childhood has begun to fade, and I wish I can eat those same lunch and dinners for years to come. Looks like plans to bring my future wife home and taste my grandma’s amazing Shanghai cooking will not be realized after all. Knowing this will be my last makes me so so sad.

I look at my napping grandma, and I so desperately want to do something that will make her happy. Yet I know whatever I do may not do much. What I can do now is to make her proud, not by making the big bucks, not by getting straight A’s. No, she does not care about those things. Bringing something to look forward to, knowing something good will be happening in the future, the sense of excitement, expectation. Now that’s something would make my grandma happy and cheer her up! Perhaps she’ll consider cooking again after I cheer her up? Just a thought….;)

這次芝加哥飛東京,12個小時,前面六個小時睡的跟豬一樣。好不容易醒來看個電影,看玩後又睡著,醒來的時候已經著陸到東京。坐飛機從來沒覺得這麼快過!

東京飛台北,又是同樣的情況。睡到完全張不開眼睛,我很懷疑我是不是得嗜睡症?有可能是之前兩三個月每天只睡5、6小時的勞累使身體終於反應不過來了….

到了台灣後打電話給我爸,沒想到他竟然跟我說車子又壞了,他在台北車站要坐巴士來接我。ETA: 45 min。天阿~有沒有搞錯。回顧這4次回台灣,有3次車子都出問題。而且,都是那種之前明明都開的好好的,我一回來當天就鬧脾氣…真哀!~

折磨了半天,終於回到外婆家。進廁所一看,哇這是甚麼。離開六個月竟然廁所 upgrade 成電動馬桶?太前衛了吧…還得先學一下要怎麼用才行餒!等下,這個按鈕是幹麻的?哇開始噴水啦!噴出來了…外婆!救命啊!!

凌晨三點,很想睡覺,可是怕睡個兩個小時就會醒來。為了避免這種情況,死命撐著上網聽音樂。希望明天可以來個….8點以後再起床吧?